FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 09, 2005 - 1840hrs UTC

1840hrs 09 Dec 2005 UTC 43’48”S 140’17”E Ref 635

There were seven wonders of the world and then there was phosophorescence. I haven’t seen it since the Atlantic but now we are roaring along in a lovely ethereal cloud of milky luminescence that starts at the bows and grows and surges and turns to filmy cotton wool wrapped around a sledge hammer and sometimes threatens to overwhelm the cockpit as we get slant-wise off the top of one of the steeper ones. It makes it very easy to see why our GPS runs for 24 hours are always longer than the distance made good – we have a beautiful sinuous trail of pale but vividly glowing icy fire coiling away astern behind the keel and rudder and Kevvo’s paddle for several boat lengths and some of the curves are almost at right angles as the boat gets thrown sideways by the breaking crests. We go through a lot more water than over the ground.

I may have written about this before. The brain congeals a bit sometimes and things get lost in the blur, but I have been thinking about missed opportunity. As a kid beside the Beaulieu River, I was lucky enough to have been taken sailing for a couple of years by an irascible but delightful Australian, Sir Keith Officer, in his big grey gaff rigged yawl, Yarinya – all mahogany and teak and huge polished brass winches. He employed a Breton fisherman, Gaston, as his forward hand and I was the willing helper – I knew about throat and peak halyards and parrals before I ever met a bendy mast. Keith was the last Australian ambassador in Nanjing before the Japanese army arrived in the late 1930’s and I would now give up Coopers to be able to ask him the questions that he could have answered. I wonder where Yarinya is now. Keith sold her and bought a Folkboat at about the time I left for Oz. Through him, I met John Illingworth, who inaugurated and won the first Sydney – Hobart race and Eric and Susan Hiscock and had dinner in what must have been Wanderer 3 – more unanswered questions. Later,I knew Adlard Coles and Errol Bruce and – fleetingly – Francis Chichester – legendary sailors – and again was too ignorant even to know what to ask. At least they all wrote books and Peter Bruce has extended and expanded Adlard’s Heavy Weather Sailing encyclopaedia into an essential item for any offshore sailor. Onya Peter! The internet now allows anyone anywhere to ask those questions of anyone who is prepared to answer them and, in a very small way, these logs are an attempt to leave some answers of my own somewhere where they are accessible to kids who may, like me, be too shy or too ignorant to ask the questions today. 50 years later, I can still hear Keith harrumphing at that sentence – pompous he was not!

Davy C. Well I never, as they say in the fairy stories – didn’t know you could read, mate. Nice to know you are still with us. So is the rig – good one! Should we tighten it all up a couple of turns when we get into Hobart? We’ll look out for Dr. Wendy.

From David T.

When I was talking to Marion the indications were that declaring an emergency was the only option to get a quick clearance and her husband thought that it was the sensible thing to do.  This is what the people at CYCA recommended & I think that the customs people really know what its all about but this is the only way that they can bend the rules.

I am rostered on Tascoast Radio for the 0800 & 1800 skeds on Monday so will have to fit in meeting Berri around these times.  At least I will be able to contact them.

David T – thanks and look forward to talking to you – a giant ‘Yes please’ to Anne for stroggers and stuff – most appreciative! I think the shaft anode will be ok as long as it has stayed attached – it was a big one and we fitted it in Falmouth in June. I think i still have the old one in the boat somewhere too. Thanks for the offer. Looks as if we will round SE Cape early on Monday morning if we can keep this up.

From Alan K.

Ok boys I have just taken redundancy from SMH and  would love to give do the editing I agree. The raw material is good just needs a bit of organisation and filleting. My publishers intrrested they connected to ACP so have a bit of grunt for promotions. But we can talk about that when you onshore  hang in there I read your log every day it gets me going very funny and inspirational at the same time.

I don’t leave herald until end of December so a few Berrimilla stories  will be appearing in SMH before then.  Bon Voyage

Alan K – steve has emailed you the satphone number. If we don’t answer, try again – it goes into message bank very quickly. Don’t leave a message. I don’t collect them because it costs too much. No publisher yet and no deals from out here. We need a good editor more than a publisher to start with and would be happy to talk to anyone when we get in. A couple of offers of help in the UK too.

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